NBA Season Preview (2020-2021)

It’s way too early, but what kind of sports journalist would I be if I didn’t try to predict everything before the season has even started? So, as you make your way through this, just keep in mind that I’m just making my best estimates! It’s just for a bit of fun, so if you are making any bets, bet small!

The projected win/loss record for each time is just a rough number I have in my head. It doesn’t factor in matchups (which would be hard considering only half the schedule has been released), injuries or potential trades. I don’t even want to think about COVID.

I don’t know if I’m just really excited for the NBA to start up again, but I’m feeling really positive on majority of the teams. My optimism is at an all time high. I had a lot of trouble ranking all of the teams. I was usually saying “that’s too low” or something similar. You could make a case for most of the teams. I’m sorry if your team isn’t one of my projected playoff teams.

On the other hand, there is a lot of drama going on in the league and you could make a case for a lot of these teams to collapse! The Nets, Rockets and Clippers all have their fair share of locker room drama. Who knows what is going to happen this season? Maybe that’s why I’m so excited!

With all of that in mind, enjoy.

#Eastern ConferenceWestern Conference
1.Brooklyn Nets (47-25)Los Angeles Clippers (50-22)
2.Boston Celtics (46-26)Los Angeles Lakers (48-24)
3.Milwaukee Bucks (45-27)Portland Trail Blazers (45-27)
4.Toronto Raptors (43-29)Denver Nuggets (43-29)
5.Philadelphia 76ers (41-31)Dallas Mavericks (42-30)
6.Miami Heat (40-32)Phoenix Suns (40-32)
7.Chicago Bulls (38-34)Memphis Grizzlies (38-34)
8.Washington Wizards (37-33)Golden State Warriors (36-36)
9.Orlando Magic (36-36)Utah Jazz (35-37)
10.Indiana Pacers (36-36)New Orleans Pelicans (35-37)
11.Atlanta Hawks (33-39)Houston Rockets (33-39)
12.Detroit Pistons (25-47)San Antonio Spurs (30-42)
13.New York Knicks (24-48)Minnesota Timberwolves (29-43)
14.Charlotte Hornets (22-50)Oklahoma City Thunder (27-45)
15.Cleveland Cavaliers (17-55)Sacramento Kings (25-47)
NBA Standings for the 2020-21 season. You heard it here first!

As for the end of season awards, I have a few ideas!

Coach of the YearBilly Donovan
6th Man of the YearSpencer Dinwiddie
Most Improved PlayerShae Gilgeous-Alexander
Most Valuable PlayerKevin Durant
Rookie of the YearKillian Hayes
Defensive Player of the YearAnthony Davis
NBA Scoring ChampionJames Harden
The end of season awards for the 2020-21 season. Again, you heard it here first!

Because I’m really crazy and like making myself look stupid, I’ll also do a playoff bracket. As you are likely aware, the NBA is bringing back the “Play In Tournament” for this season. In case you don’t know how it works (they weren’t exactly clear) allow me to explain.

First of all, they should just call it the Wildcard round, like every other sports does. The play in tournament is a mouthful and just sounds stupid.

Secondly, you don’t have to be within a certain number of games this year. Last season, the 9th seed had to be within 4 games of the 8th seed to force the play in. This season, the 9th seed could be 14 games back and the play in game will still happen. Dumb! Fortunately, I think the records will be pretty close between the 7th and 10th seeds.

Ok, so this is how it works. Number 7 plays Number 8. The winner becomes the 7th seed and moves to the playoffs. Number 9 plays Number 10. The loser is eliminated, the winner will play the loser of the 7/8 matchup. The winner of that match will become the 8th seed and the loser is also eliminated. The playoffs will then officially start. Got it?

I think it’s a dumb idea, but that’s a topic for another day. Now that that is explained, here are my playoff predictions.

Eastern Conference

The Play In

Chicago (7) defeats Washington (8) and remains the 7th seed.

Orlando (9) defeats Indiana (10). Indiana is eliminated.

Washington (8) loses to Orlando (9). Orlando become the 8th seed.

Round 1 Match Ups

Brooklyn (1) vs Orlando (8). Brooklyn win in 5.

Boston (2) vs Chicago (7). Boston win in 6.

Milwaukee (3) vs Miami (6). Miami win in 5.

Toronto (4) vs Philadelphia (5). Philadelphia win in 6.

Round 2 Match Ups

Brooklyn (1) vs Philadelphia (5). Brooklyn win in 6.

Boston (2) vs Miami (6). Boston win in 7.

Eastern Conference Finals

Brooklyn (1) vs Boston (2). Brooklyn win in 6.

Western Conference

The Play In

Memphis (7) lose to Golden State (8). GS become the 7th seed.

Utah (9) lose to New Orleans (10). Utah is eliminated.

Memphis (8) defeat New Orleans (9) and become the 8th seed.

Round 1 Match Ups

Clippers (1) vs Memphis (8). Clippers win in 5.

Lakers (2) vs Golden State (7). Lakers win in 6.

Portland (3) vs Phoenix (6). Portland win in 7.

Denver (4) vs Dallas (5). Dallas win in 6.

Round 2 Match Ups

Clippers (1) vs Dallas (5). Clippers win in 7.

Lakers (2) vs Portland (3). Lakers win in 6.

Western Conference Finals

Clippers (1) vs Lakers (2). Lakers win in 6.

NBA Finals

Brooklyn Nets (1) defeat the Los Angeles Lakers (1) in 6.

Kevin Durant wins the Finals MVP award.

There you have it, my early predictions for the upcoming NBA season. What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think in the comments!

I’m out of here for now. I’ll be back sometime in the next couple days with my “30 teams, 30 thoughts” piece. I’ll have that up sometime between the end of the preseason and the beginning of the real stuff.

I’ve also got something else in the works. It’s a secret for the moment, but stay tuned for something big!

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